I have lived in Louisville for about 18 months…and 10 pounds. I was about 10 lbs overweight when I moved here; now I’m just fat! And it’s all your fault Louisville! Well, maybe not, but I’m going to blame you anyway. There are so many good places to eat here, I just can’t seem to resist. Even after all this time it still seems like we are just here on vacation and we owe it to ourselves to try everything. And there are some fantastic places to try. Here is just a partial list, as we’ve still got dozens of places to explore:
1. Breakfast. I love breakfast food. Wild Eggs is killer. Kalamity Katie’s Border Benedict is unreal. I would kill for that. And I always feel like I’m going to die after I eat it! Toast on Market…fantastic! Just name anything on their menu, doesn’t matter. The fluffiest omelets I have ever seen, and the banana pudding? Jesus, that stuff is heavenly and I don’t even like banana pudding. We were also lucky enough to move here before Lynn’s Paradise Cafe closed. Biscuits and Gravy to die for. Potato pancakes? Yes! I’m still a little pissed at Lynn for closing.
2. BBQ. I love BBQ. I have had 12 Bones in Asheville many times. I’ve had ribs at the Rendezvous in Memphis, Blues City Cafe, hole in the wall cafes in the middle of nowhere in Mississippi, but I’m just as happy with Mark’s as anyone else’s. Oh, Doc Crow’s…love the shrimp too.
3. Pizza. I love pizza too. Who doesn’t? What is pizza like in Louisville? Heavy! When I first moved here all I heard about was Wick’s. So I ordered a small pizza. I swear a small pizza from Wick’s weighs at least 10 pounds, no lie! Louisville pizza is piled with about 2 inches of topping. My favorites? Angio’s, in an old gas station, has the best Deluxe in my opinion. I don’t like olives, but they pile them on an Angio’s pizza and I love it. Boomboz thin crust Hawaiian. I have not had a Bearno’s yet, but I hear good things. My wife and daughter love the Mellow Mushroom too.
4. Sweets. I have a sweet tooth. It is my mother’s fault. Growing up, I doubt a day went by that my mother did not bake a pie, cookies or a cake. She still does, and she is 87 and lives alone! ” Mom, who are you baking those 5 pies for?” “Oh, I don’t know. Whoever wants them.” And they always disappear! I know a little bit about sweets. I became an amateur (hack) baker in my early twenties. I even went as far as to seek out a culinary school so I could become a pastry chef. Never happened though. I have never been a donut guy, but I do love bakeries. I mean, “real” bakeries. I discovered Nord’s one day and, well, I love the place! I can eat one of their donuts and an hour later, I’m not sorry. I went there 4 times in one week to get one of their pumpkin cake donuts, and every day they were already sold out. I never did get one. Sometimes they are lined out the door. As for other sweets around town, I haven’t explored much yet because I’m always full from all the other food! I have yet to try Sweet Surrender or Desserts by Helen. I’m afraid to go in. As mentioned already, the banana pudding at Toast is phenomenal.
5. Pork. No sense going down this well worn path other than to reiterate that pork, in one form or another, is on everything. I did get a chance to try out the Blind Pig before whatever happened to it happened. Loved the food, loved the atmosphere and loved the bar upstairs called “Meat.” Every time I went in there it made me feel like I was back in the prohibition era and I was doing something illegal!
6. Burgers. I love burgers too (not much I don’t love, is there?). In Bloomington, Upland Brewery was the “Burger King” as far as I’m concerned. I love their burgers and fries. It isn’t about all the toppings for me. You can keep all your special sauces and extra items. It is about the meat. And Upland used a very good, local ground beef. That made all the difference. I’ve had burgers at a lot of places in Louisville, but if my wife or I are picking the spot, it will always be Bluegrass Burgers…and for the same reason we pick Upland…the beef tastes great. And the fries are awesome. And I can get a Shiner Bock. Nothing better with a burger than a cheap bottle of Texas Shiner Bock. Unless it’s an Upland Lightwave.
7. Which brings me to beer. I like craft beer. I love local brewers. There is no shortage of great beer in this town. Let’s start with regional. Of course, you know I’m an Upland fan, but what can I say, that’s my home team. Brining it closer, I like West 6th IPA out of Lexington. And Country Boy, well I’ve only tried abut 6 of their beers so far (including Nacho Bait) but I loved them all. I am a fan. Closer to home you have BBC, the more prominent brewer. Also, there is Apocalypse, which is only open on weekends. I have enjoyed their cream ale more than once. Against the Grain is down at the ball field and Cumberland on Bardstown Road. Across the river New Albanian is brewing up some fine ales as well. I will say it again. I love “Naughty Girl.” And you can take that any way you like! Aside from all the great local beers, there are dozens of great places to enjoy them. O’Shea’s, Silver Dollar, dozens and dozens of bars and pubs lining Bardstown road, the Garage Bar in NuLu, etc, etc. My personal favorite, as you probably know, The Holy Grale.
8. I guess I shouldn’t leave out coffee, right? No shortage here either. Sunergos, Quills, Argo Sons, All top notch. Heine Bros are everywhere and Red Hot Roasters has a cool niche as well. Java is kicking it out too. And let’s not forget my good friends at LaGrange Coffee Roasters, about 25 minutes or so east of town. They have been kind enough to open their doors, and equipment, to Motorhead Coffee. Great shop, great people, great product. In fact, I’ve hung out so much at the LaGrange shop that it feels like home. Oh, and I had one of Leah’s pumpkin scones recently…best I ever had…and I know pumpkin!
9. Finally, Food Trucks! Louisville actually has a real food truck scene, a first for me. You’ve got Grind, Holy Mole, Lil’ Cheezers, Traveling Kitchen, Black Rock Grille, Louisville Dessert Truck, Get it on a Bun at Booty’s and more! I hope by next spring you can add Motorhead Coffee to the list!
On the bright side, a brand new Planet Fitness just opened up in my neighborhood. In fact, it is about 200 yards from my front door. I even joined. Now, if I could only make myself go!